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Using Your Research to Fuel Your Writing

April 14th, 2017

First, thanks to Douglas for last week’s blog. It really goes to show that you should never shy away from approaching experts if you need facts for your writing. There are innumerable museums, stately homes, art galleries, and state-of-the-art tourist attractions out there. A quick email to their PR department or to the address indicated on their website could put you in touch with someone who can help you with your research. Who knows, you may even get a personal guided tour!

And don’t dismiss factories, garden centres and retail outlets. If you want food facts, information on how things are made, or grow, don’t be afraid to ask. What’s the worst that can happen? They might say no and you’ll have to move on to the next source on your list. Have confidence in yourself  – think positively and act positively!

Then, when you’ve done your research use the facts wisely. Douglas was getting background information for a fiction story he wanted to write. But now he’s got plenty of material that he can also use for non-fiction articles.  It’s finding facts and doing research that takes time; so if you’re going to make your writing pay, you need to get into the habit of getting as much mileage out of the time you spend behind the scenes as possible.

Moving on, I’ve never been a particular fan of Lionel Shriver, but I’ve just finished reading her latest book, The Mandibles: A family 2029-2047. Once started, I couldn’t put it down and though I agree to some extent with the Independent’s criticism of the novel I still think it’s worth a read. The major flaw as far as I’m concerned is the fact that she wraps up the whole family’s future in a couple of chapters at the end, and for a book that on the whole is rather depressing the survivors all look set for a more or less happy ending.

If you want to know a little more about the thought processes behind the book then you can catch up with Meet the Author: Lionel Shriver on BBC iPlayer Radio (broadcast yesterday).

I’m living in my own personal dust-bowl at the moment, as I’m having my bathroom re-tiled. So, this weekend will be more about cleaning up than writing. But I hope to get some time in the garden, some time with my kids and young grandson and plenty of time hunting Easter eggs. I’ve been dropping hints for days about finest dark chocolate and liqueur truffles – I just hope they don’t take too much finding!

And whatever you’re doing….enjoy it!

My guest next week will be Colin Bulman, author and Writers Bureau tutor, who will be looking at motivation in character creation.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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